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URSUS: Help Center

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Coronavirus / COVID-19 update: Due to the temporary suspension of the statewide library delivery service, requesting within the library catalog has been turned off. University Faculty, Staff, and Students should contact their home institution's library to request physical items.

Help Center

Ask A Librarian

For assistance, please contact your local campus library. Direct contact information is available on their web sites linked below.

Contact URSUS Support


Type the keyword you want to find. For example:

  • design
  • bleachers grisham
Search Tips WildcardsWords may be right-hand truncated using an asterisk ('*') in place of other characters. The '*' wildcard may also be embedded in a search string. You may use '?' to replace a single character anywhere within a word.
Examples : environment* polic*, wom?n Boolean OperatorsUse "and" or "or" to specify multiple words in any field, any order. Use "and not" to exclude words.
Example : stocks and bonds
Example : (alaska or canada) and (adventure and not vacation) Field limitsA field limit causes the system to search only the specified field for the specified word(s). GroupingKeyword search results are usually grouped by relevance to bring the most likely titles to the top of the list. Each group represents a similar level of relevance and results are sorted within the group by date or title. To get an ungrouped result set, use boolean operators to form a complex query.

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Advanced Keyword Search Tips

Multiple Words

When searching multiple words the system will automatically supply the Boolean "and" operator between each word; multiple words entered for the search will all occur somewhere in the retrieved records though not necessarily in the order entered. Both examples on the right will retrieve the same results.


Using multiple words:
university science department
university and science and department

Phrase Searches

Search for complete phrases by enclosing them in quotation marks. Words enclosed in double quotes will appear together in all results exactly as typed.


A phrase Search:
"university science department"


*   Matches any number of non-space characters, starting at the specified position in the word. For example, "comput*" will match all words that begin with "comput" (e.g., "computer", "computation", etc.).
The '*' wildcard may also be embedded in a search string.

?   You may use a question mark ('?') to replace a single character anywhere within a word.


* Wildcard:
environment* polic*

? Wildcard:

Boolean Operators

Use AND or OR to specify multiple words in any field, any order. Use AND NOT to exclude words. Select the operator you wish to use from the selection list on the Advanced Search form.


Using Boolean operators:
stocks and bonds
stocks or bonds
stocks and not bonds

Field Limits

Field limits may be specified by selecting a field limit from the selection list. These limits appear before the word or phrase to be searched. A field limit causes the system to search only the specified field for the specified word(s).

Field Limits and their meanings:

  • Author: Search only author fields
  • Title: Search only title fields
  • Subject: Search only subject fields
  • Note: Search only note fields


Keyword search results are usually grouped by relevance to bring the most likely titles to the top of the list. Each group represents a similar level of relevance and results are sorted within the group by date or title. To get an ungrouped result set, use boolean operators to form a complex query.

 Most relevant titles

 Highly relevant titles

 Very relevant titles

 Relevant titles

 Other relevant titles

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Saving your searches

If you have a favorite author or subject for which you often search when using the catalog, you can save the search with the click of a button. This will prevent you from having to key in the search each time and let you place reserves on new materials quicker.

How to:

  1. Log in to your My Library Account.
  2. Click on the "New Search" button.
  3. Search for your favorite author, subject, title, etc. or create an advanced keyword search including limits to material type, language, publication year, etc..
  4. When your results are displayed, click the button marked "Save as preferred search".
  5. The next time that you log in to your My Library Account, you can click the "Preferred Searches" button to see a list of your saved searches.
  6. Click on the search link associated with any of the preferred search terms in the list to quickly execute your search.
  7. You can be alerted of new materials added to the library collection which match your searches. Just check the "Mark for Email" box and be sure that your patron record information includes your current email address.

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Displaying Records

General Display

If a search results in only one item, the display format will be a full record. If a search results in multiple items, the default display is a brief record list, the format of which depends on the index searched. For example, a subject search for "Maine civil war 1861 1865" will result in a list of subject headings beginning with these words. A keyword search for "Maine civil war" will result in an alphabetical list of titles whose records contain these words. Numbers precede letters in title list displays.

Extended display

When viewing a brief record list, click the Extended Display button to display the location codes (e.g."O" for Orono) next to each title. If a list of subject headings is displayed, Extended Display will show both location codes and up to five titles under each subject heading.

Full record

p> To view the full record, click on the title itself. Full records include author, title, publishing information, subject headings, location, call number, and circulation status.

MARC display

To view a record in MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging) format, click the MARC Display button. This format may be useful if an ISSN, ISBN, or OCLC accession number is needed.

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Library Status Information:

  • Available: Item is available in stacks for check-out.
  • Claimed Ret'd: Item is not in the stacks. Last borrower claimed returned. Library staff search before declaring lost.
  • Missing: Item is not in the stacks or checked out. Library staff search before declaring lost.
  • On Search: Item is not in the stacks or checked out. Library staff search before declaring lost.
  • In Repair: Item is being mended.
  • At Bindery: Item is at the bindery.
  • Libr Use Only: Item may not be checked out.
  • Billed: Item is overdue, patron has been billed for replacement.
  • In Transit: Item is enroute to owning library.
  • Lost: Item declared lost; under consideration for replacement.
  • On Order: Item is on order.
  • Storage: Check with a librarian.
  • Paid: Patron has paid the item replacement charges.
  • In Tech Services: Item is in technical services. Ask a librarian for help.
  • On Display: Item is being used in library exhibit.
  • In House Only: Item may not be checked out.
  • Ask Librarian: Check with a librarian for further assistance.
  • On HoldShelf: Item is on hold for another patron at circulation desk.
  • Due [date]: Item is checked out and due back on date indicated.
  • Ask Ref B/W: Item is bound with another item. Reference librarian can check call number under which item may be located.
  • Online: Item is available from an Internet link when using URSUS via a web browser.
  • Onsearch (IN): Item has been determined missing during inventory. Request from another URSUS library if available, or via Interlibrary Loan.
  • 1 Hold: Item has been requested and will be held for the patron when it is either returned or found.
  • See Lib Info?:
  • Ask Mus of Art: Ask librarian at the Umaine Museum of Art for assistance.

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Library Location Information:

All materials in the URSUS catalog are associated with a specific library and location within the library. When you search the catalog, each copy will show a location. These locations begin with the library symbol followed by a specific area or collection name in the library. For example, the following title is held at the Presque Isle, Fort Kent, and Machias libraries:

Library Location Symbols Bangor Pub. Lib. Bangor Public Library Darling Marine Center University of Maine, Ira C. Darling Center Farmington University of Maine at Farmington Leg Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library Lew Lewiston / Auburn College Maine State Lib. Maine State Library UM Orono University of Maine (Orono) UMA University of Maine at Augusta UMA-Bangor University of Maine at Augusta Bangor Campus UMFK University of Maine at Fort Kent UMLAW University of Maine School of Law UMM University of Maine at Machias UMPI University of Maine at Presque Isle USM POR University of Southern Maine (Portland) USM GOR University of Southern Maine (Gorham)

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Saving, Printing, & Exporting Lists of Records

Saving Records

Records may be marked (saved) for later printing, e-mailing, or downloading. To mark a record when viewing the full record, click the "Add to Bag" button. To mark a record when viewing a title list, check the box next to the title and click the "Add Marked to Bag" button at the top or bottom of the page before viewing the next page.

Printing Records

To print a single record currently displayed on the screen, use the browser's print button.

To print lists of selected records, mark the desired records as outlined above in Saving lists of records, then click the View Bag button. On the Saved Records screen, click the Export Saved button. On the export screen, under the heading Format of List, select a list format. Under the heading Send List To, select the screen option and click Submit. Use the browser's print button to print the resulting display of marked records. Click on Clear Saved Records when done.

Exporting Records

Marked records may also be exported in Pro-Cite, EndNote, or MARC formats. Records formatted in Pro-Cite and EndNote should be saved to disk as a file (choose Local Disk under Send List To, click Submit, and save on the appropriate floppy or hard drive).

Marked records may also be e-mailed. Enter e-mail address under the heading Send List To and click Submit.

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Requesting Materials from URSUS Libraries

1. What is the Request Function?

The URSUS online request function allows registered borrowers to request books with a status of "available" from University of Maine System libraries and the Maine State libraries. Requested materials are delivered to the campus, center, or site the borrower specifies.

2. Who is eligible to use the Request Function?

UMS faculty, staff and registered students may use the online request function.

Patrons who obtain a library courtesy, alumni or a corporate borrower card from a UMS campus library may also use the online request function, and must pick up materials at the campus library which issued their card. Borrower restrictions may apply. Check with the campus library staff that issued the courtesy card.

3. How can I request a book through the URSUS catalog?

Search URSUS and locate the book you need. If the book you want is displaying a status of "available," then select the Request button. If the book is displaying a due date, see "What if an item is checked out (status "DUE [date]")?" below. You will be prompted for the information required to get the book to you.

  • Type your name, barcode number, and pick-up location into the online form. Be sure to enter your barcode number with no spaces.
  • Click on the button Submit with above information.
  • If the book is available at more than one location you must select the volume you want. Choose the nearest library for the fastest delivery.
  • Click on the Request selected item button. You will receive a message confirming that your request for this item has been sent to the library.
  • Your request will be answered by the lending library and the book will be sent to the campus library, center, or site you selected. If the lending library is unable to send the book they will notify you.

4. What if an item is checked out (status "DUE [date]")?

If the book you want is not from your own library or campus location, you must place an Interlibrary Loan request for the book at your local library or remote center. If the book you want IS from your own library, check with the circulation desk at your library to place a recall on the book. The recall process cannot be done online at this time. You will be notified by mail when the item is available. It will be held for you for 10 days.

If you are not an URSUS-affiliated cardholder (e.g. you are browsing the URSUS catalog from out-of-state or from a non-URSUS library in-state), but see something in the URSUS catalog that is of interest, you should place an Interlibrary Loan request for the item at your local school, public, or academic library.

5. Further Information:

  • If you return books late, you will receive overdue notices / invoices from the lending library.
  • Items not available through URSUS can be requested through the Interlibrary Loan Department at your campus library. Distance students may contact Off-Campus Library Services. (link: [])
If you need a book that is checked out or missing, check with Circulation staff at your campus library.

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Library cardholders may renew their own materials online. All material may be renewed except for materials with reserves and materials on which you owe fines.

How to:

  1. Log in to your My Library Account.
  2. If not the default view click the "Items currently checked out" link to view the materials you have checked out.
  3. Select the materials you want to renew by checking the boxes in the RENEW column and then click the Renew Selected button. If you want to renew everything, click the Renew ALL button.
  4. If you cannot renew items, a message will appear on the screen. If you are successful, a new due date will appear in the "STATUS" column. Always check the STATUS column for information on the success or failure of your renewal.

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